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Economic Development Strategy survey for Nye and Esmeralda open til Feb. 24

There is little doubt about the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on local economies, all across the globe as well as right here in Nevada, and with this in mind, Nye and Esmeralda counties are in the process of updating an important document that helps drive the direction each county takes in terms of its economic development.

“The University Center for Economic Development, part of the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, asks for community input. UNR has recently been awarded a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration through the U.S. CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act to provide Nevada’s economic development authorities technical assistance in updating and revising their existing Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) document,” a news release from the Southwest Central Regional Economic Development Authority detailed. “The scope of this technical assistance includes evaluation and updating existing goals and objectives in light of recent COVID-19 pandemic impacts, updating relevant socio-demographic, economic and industry and occupation sector employment data and incorporating new contingency and resiliency planning elements to the existing CEDS document.”

Frederick Steinmann, Assistant Research Professor with the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, told the Pahrump Valley Times that the CEDS survey is aimed at identifying community economic development strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as part of the effort to revitalize each county’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.

“By completing the community survey, county residents, property owners, business owners and community leaders have the opportunity to share this larger recovery effort and assist both counties in this effort,” Steinmann stated. “The completed revised CEDS will also help both Esmeralda and Nye County secure the federal funds necessary to fund new critical infrastructure projects, community assets, and business assistance efforts.”

The Southwest Central Regional Economic Development Authority, or SWCREDA,was formerly known as the Nye County Economic Development Authority. This is the agency tasked with providing business development assistance to both Nye and Esmeralda counties and it will be heading up the study. “The study needs public input from all communities in Nye and Esmeralda counties,” the news release emphasized. “We are asking for public input from all township and communities for this critical study.”

Nye County first developed and adopted its CEDS plan in 2012, with an annual review and update taking place in 2016, followed by another review and update in 2017, when the county adopted a revised version of said plan.

As it sits today, the document is comprised of more than 140 pages of highly detailed information about the county overall, as well as sections focusing on each of the counties’ communities. In addition, the document outlines Nye County’s priority economic development projects, its common goals and action plans, performance measures and economic resilience.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic altering how business is conducted and thrusting local challenges into the spotlight, it is time for Nye County to take another look at its CEDS and adjust it to account for these new factors.

The survey is broken down into two sections, the first concentrating on existing economic development assets and resources and the second centering on existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Section one contains questions regarding workforce characteristics and skills, land and physical capital, financial capital, energy, community culture and more while section two asks the survey-taker to provide their own specific take on weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats. It is just 14 questions long and should take roughly 10 minutes to complete.

The survey will be available until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

For residents of Esmeralda County, the survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EsmeraldaCEDS2021

For residents of Nye County, the survey is accessible at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EsmeraldaCEDS2021

Those with questions regarding the survey may contact Steinmann at fred@unr.edu or 775-784-1655.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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